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A Poem?

Brain, brain,
Gone away,
Please come back
Another day.
Sometime next week
Would be nice.
In time to write
Of men and mice
An opus bright
All readers to delight...

(And other things – sigh - whatever).

Only People

White candles,
The Lord’s Prayer,
Communion wafers
Signify God.
Black candles,
The Lord’s Prayer backwards,
Broken communion wafers
Signify Satan
But conjured up only in the mind
Of a people needing
The assurance and security
To empower them
In a ritualistic way.
The brain is a dynamo,
Producing energy in
Measurable quantities.
Many brains concentrated
On the same thought
Can magnify that power
To influence external
Dynamics and create
A miracle!
Or a corporate will,
A National cohesiveness
For good or evil.
It could be called prayer,
But in the end it is
Only people.
Good people,
Evil people,
Confused people.

The Wind

And then I saw the wind,
Rolling and rollicking it came.
Billowing cheeks and pur-sed lips
Blowing cobwebs from the brain.

Trees in humble obeisance bowed.
Grass and flowers lay flat.
Sighing and soughing it came.
Playing tricks with this and that.

"I'll huff and I'll puff," said the wind,
"And I'll blow your house down."
But the isobars moved away slowly
And the wind passed by with a frown.

"I'll be back!" the wind whistled,
As over its shoulder it glared,
But the High that followed the Low
Left the wind empty and unprepared.

Urban Pastoral

Sightless. Sooty windows high
In the people battery farms.
Look down with empty eye
At all the trees with open wounds,
Set in concrete tombs,
Pointing broken fingers to the sky.

In the drizzle of the dawn
Coughs asthmatically forlorn
A rusty, patched-up car
That lurches out to meet
The rain swept tarmac street,
Where the road to nowhere goes.

And in the shadow of an alley
A rusty banger lurks,
Its battered shell defiled.
Abandoned sans its works,
But with half a tank of petrol
To incinerate a child.

This Island

This green and pleasant land
Prescotted with traveller’s camps,
Green belt estates to meet mythical targets,
Landfill sites of buried toxic waste,
Polluted streams and rivers with
Industrial effluent.
With global warming even
The Thames Barrier is obsolete.
Wither now this vanishing land?


When say is said
And said is done,
What’s left to say?
Except well done.


Two hundred million insects
To each one of us!
And we’re in charge?
There’s a spider watching me
From the top of my PC.
199,999,999 to go.
We’re winning!

Me & Hitler

In 1943 I was at a school in Small Heath, Birmingham, sandwiched between two great factories; the BSA and Singer, both then given over to munitions and normally a twenty-minute trolley-bus ride from my home in Sheldon. On this one day the buses were not running, gossip was there had been a big raid during the night with the BSA as the target.

It was with a light heart that I set out to walk to a school that could not possibly be there anymore (childish glee can sometimes be very cruel and unthinking). A vast vista of summer months without school made the long walk seem like a stroll down a lane.

Stepping over hosepipes, past fire-engines and the smouldering ruins of the Singer factory only endorsed my dreams of freedom from the restrictions of school. In the distance beyond the Singer works could be seen the smoke columns from the BSA.

Arriving at what I fondly imagined to be the ruins of my school I was dismayed beyond belief to find it not only intact, but not even one pane of glass so much as cracked!

This suddenly became personal between the Luftwaffe and me; I was convinced that Hitler himself had ordered his bombers to avoid hitting the school just to spite me. I have never forgiven him for that. Years later, when I started work in the advertising department of the BSA at the age of 14, I learnt the true extent of that raid. Later still, with a little time adjustment, I penned the following poem:

In the plating shop at the BSA,
Where men were feared to tread.
The turbanned, rollered women worked
Who filled us all with dread.
Such tales we'd heard, of mystic rites,
Of balls being blacked and awful sights
Of peni into bottles fed.
Then hosepipes littered the Coventry Road,
From last night's German Raid.
The BSA laid starkly low by death's sour scyth'ed blade.
Five hundred souls lie buried there to this very day,
And in the silent reach of night,
Or so the watchmen say,
You can hear the clank of a capstan crank
And the shrilling drills at play.
And if you listen very hard you'll hear the peal
Of a young man's squeal
As the women have him away.

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